Fakhar Zaman, the opening batsman for Pakistan, is not sorry that he did not get a century at the World Cup because he understands how crucial it was to strive to increase their net run rate in their convincing victory against Bangladesh on Tuesday.
Pakistan started their campaign with back-to-back victories, but following four straight losses, their prospects of making the semi-finals were in jeopardy going into the Eden Gardens encounter.
They gained a significant boost to their net run rate by defeating Bangladesh by seven wickets and reaching the winning target with 17.3 overs remaining. This might be useful in situations where teams are tied for points.
Player of the Match winner Fakhar started Pakistan’s pursuit with a free-flowing 81, although he missed a hundred in an attempt to end their chase early.
The 33-year-old, who missed Pakistan’s first five matches due to a knee injury and poor form, told reporters, “We were looking to chase it in 28-29 overs.”
“I was just going (after the bowlers) for that reason. “Apart from that, I had no trouble reaching 100 after 50. However, we aimed to reach the mark in 29–30 overs.”
Bangladesh became the first team to exit the competition, and Pakistan is now tied for fifth place in the standings with Afghanistan despite having played one fewer game. Both teams have six points.
If both Sri Lanka and the Netherlands win their upcoming games, they might potentially join them in a logjam at the middle of the table.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the 1992 winners’ chances of qualifying for the last four of the marquee 50-over competition, Fakhar said there was a positive vibe in the dressing room.
“We were waiting for this triumph because every victory in the World Cup gives you confidence.
“Although we are now in an if-and-but situation, we will try to win both remaining games with strong run rates.
“Our target is the semi-final, and we will try for that.” In their remaining group games, Pakistan will play 2019 runners-up New Zealand and holders England.